Chainsaws are commonly used and effective tools. When it comes time to hastily cut material, the power of chainsaws is unmatched. Chainsaws are used in many industries and are used daily by workers in industries such as forestry. Even at work, chainsaws are a readily available tool for the average person trying to make firewood for their home.
However, with great power comes great obligations. Chainsaw is not a tool you should bring home, unbox and start using without any experience. Even for seekers, don’t let yourself become too comfortable with chainsaws. It is a tool that, if misused, can cause serious injury.
The best way to make sure you’re using a chainsaw properly and safely is to take a chainsaw safety course. In this blog, we will look at some common safety tips that can help you avoid injuries while running a chainsaw. Let’s see them one by one.
General Chainsaw Safety
- Carefully read the manufacturer’s owner’s manual. Each chainsaw is unique, so don’t assume that you can skip this step if you have utilized chainsaws before.
- Review health and safety laws on chainsaw operations in your area. Some jurisdictions have specific requirements when operating chainsaws, including a variety of PPEs, such as cut-resistant footwear or leg guards.
- Check your chainsaw before you start. Make sure all safety features are working and that the chain on the guide bar is tight.
- Understand your limitations. If you are an in-house chainsaw user, don’t let your ego get in the way of calling professionals for a job that seems out of your room. And, if you’re a professional, don’t be afraid to ask for extra help for bigger jobs and push yourself to the job speed to meet very strict deadlines.
- Continuously wear PPE kit. Continuously wear the accompanying PPE:
Eye Protection – Safety glasses with side safeguards, security goggles, and face safeguards endorsed by CAN/CSA Standard z94.3-15: Eye and Face Protectors.
Gloves and Mitts – Leather gloves with ballistic nylon support on the back offer the best grip on the saw and assimilate some vibration which gives assurance to the hands. Leather gloves likewise stop the cuts while sharpening the saw.
Foot Protection – Heavy, well-fitted, security work boots endorsed by CAN/CSA Standard z195-14 (R2019): Protective Footwear. Notwithstanding the routinely required safety boots, chainsaw operators ought to consider wearing boots produced using cut-safe materials that offer assurance from contact with running chainsaws (this is needed in certain purviews).
Head Protection – A hard cap in an exceptionally apparent shading, supported by CSA Standard Z94.1-15: Industrial Protective Headwear.
Leg Protection – Pants or chaps with sewn-in ballistic nylon cushions, ideally ones that reach out to the beltline rather than ones that stop at the upper thigh as they give additional shielding. All dress worn while working a chainsaw ought to be well-fitted, without handcuffs, and made of close-woven fabrics.
Fall Protection – If working at a stature (essential if above 10ft), fall insurance equipment like body belts, harnesses, and lanyards ought to be utilized.
- Do not cut alone. Always keep someone close if something goes wrong. If you have a team working on a project, make sure everyone knows where everyone is and who is closest to them if they need help.
- Be aware of your surroundings. Run chainsaws just outside or in a ventilated area. Be aware of weather conditions, terrain, wildlife, buildings, power lines, vehicles, and other people.
- Run the saw only when you are comfortable. Fatigue can lead to carelessness – if you’re using chainsaws at work, be extra careful before you take a break and at the end of your shift.
- Do not use a chainsaw on a ladder or climb a tree using a chainsaw, unless you have a professional trained to do so. If you are trying to complete tasks such as pruning tall branches, consider buying a pole saw.
- Ask questions, stay safe. If you have any hesitancy about getting the job done safely, find the right protocol before continuing. Different safety procedures may be necessary or depending on the task at hand (e.g. working at a height, or the presence of a trip, slide, snag, or falling danger). You should always have a first aid kit with you when running a chainsaw.
As a bit of a bonus, we cut back on the do’s and don’ts of fueling tips when cutting using chainsaws! Hopefully, our pair of off-the-chain training courses will give you all the knowledge you need to get the job done best and most importantly secure.
Additional Read: Factors To Consider When Buying A Chainsaw
The Do’s and Don’ts of Cutting With a Chainsaw
- Plan each task before you start. If you’re not sure what to do next, close your chainsaw and plan ahead.
- Hold the chainsaw with its front handle, keep the muffler away from your body, and point the guard bar behind you.
- Use the right saw – The right weight, strength, and length of the bar should match the handwork.
- Run the chain saw in a strong grip of two hands with fingers and thumb around the handle. Always keep both legs stable.
- Maintain full power during the entire cut.
- Make sure the chain does not move when the chain saw is idle.
- Keep your saw clean – free from sawdust, dirt, and oil.
- Start the chainsaw when it is resting on any part of your body.
- Stand directly behind the chainsaw.
- Leave a saw running unattended.
- Take a chainsaw while walking.
- Contact muffler – It can cause severe skin irritation.
- Cut off the nose or tip of your chainsaw – This will cause kickback and serious injury.